Mark Webber might have grabbed his first pole of the season, but all eyes will be on the Australian's Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel as the German looks to seal his fourth straight Formula One drivers' championship title at the Japanese Grand Prix.
Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber and Lewis Hamilton wave to the crowd after the qualifying session of the Japanese Grand Prix, October 12
Webber topped the timesheets on Saturday at Suzuka with a scorching lap of 1:30.915, with Vettel taking second in the grip after timing 1:30.975, while Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton had to settle for third.
Vettel will become the world champion for a fourth consecutive season if he wins the Japanese GP, and nearest rival Fernando Alonso of Ferrari comes in outside the top eight.
"First we will focus on the start, but it is a long race and tyres can be a decisive force so it's better to watch out for them," Vettel said. "Of course I would love to start one position ahead, but starting from P2 is nothing that causes frustration. Mark has been strong all weekend so congratulations to him.
"To speak now about a result - and what it could mean - is not my thing. I want to do a good race on one of my favourite tracks and give the fans a good show. Everything else, we will see."
Alonso disappointed in qualifying yet again, only managing eighth place, with Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa managing fifth place on the grid.
"Today's (Saturday's) result is more or less what we were expecting, not having had a great pace all weekend, always being between sixth and tenth and even in Q3, I could not do more," Alonso said. "Here the long run tests went better in terms of degradation than in Korea and that gives us hope that we can make up ground in the race.
"Tomorrow (Sunday), we will give it our best shot, as always, trying to count on our strong points; the start, the strategy and the way we manage tyre degradation. The aim is definitely not just to finish in the first eight to keep the championship alive, because if Vettel doesn't win here, he will do it in one of the next races, when the number of combinations that can affect the result will be less.
"Now we need to pick up points for second place in the Constructors' Championship and for that we need to finish ahead of Mercedes, who are only one point behind us."
Where to watch
The race is scheduled for an 11.30 a.m. (IST) start with live coverage on Star Sports 2 beginning from 10.30 a.m. You can also catch the race live online by clicking the official link HERE.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2013: Models' Ramp Walk Aired on Tuesday [PHOTOS]
- Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2013: Bold, Sexy and Sensuous Lingerie Fashion [PHOTOS]
- Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2013: Drooling Guys, Conscious Girls, Naughty Jokes on Twitter [SEE PHOTOS]
- Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2013: Best Pictures From The Sexiest Show Ever [ SEE PHOTOS/VIDEOS]